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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 081417 Jamie Berger

So excited to share the bright light and curious mind of the one and only Jamie Berger in today’s #sparkchamber. Jamie is a podcaster, tutor, teacher, erstwhile writer, academic coach, husband, multiple-pet parent, reluctant bar/restaurant co-owner and much much more(!) who has taken the traditional geographic route in life from Albany to New York City to San Francisco to Turners Falls, MA.

A very worthwhile click to his podcast: 15 Minutes: A podcast about fame. (You can find it on Soundcloud, iTunes, pretty much everywhere pods are cast). “We just finished year one, and are 40 episodes in. Guests have included David Sedaris, Brooke Gladstone, George Saunders, John Hodgman, Maeve Higgins, and many more fascinating human beings whose names you may know, and others whose names you’d only know if they’re your friends or family. We talk to anyone who wants to talk *about* fame and Fame Culture (copyright 2017 Jamie Berger), and some of the dark and light places it’s brought us to today.”

Follow Jamie on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

The shower. This is both a joke and a cliché, but it’s also true, I’m not sure why. The solitude? The lack of distractions of the world outside the shower? The warm water?

Ideas come from reading, from the internet, from friends, from guests on the podcast, from my mother who died in 2009 but still sends ideas, from listeners. From the horrible human who’s the President of the U.S.A. From comedians. From David Lynch. From Jonathan Katz. From you? From dogs, from pop culture, from walking in the woods with said dogs.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

Part of 15 Minutes is me trying to figure that out, why I have always had the itch to make things that strangers see and maybe enjoy or gain something from. An itch to communicate something with people I don’t know. Admittedly, also an itch for approval of my ideas and realization of them. An itch to make pretty and/or meaningful-to-more-than-just-me works of something like art.

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?

Night owl. 74% hare — used to be more like 89% — age does mellow.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I never succeeded as a writer because I never answered that well. With the podcast, I record a conversation, think about it for a few weeks, listen to once, then edit once, then usually come back the next day and edit a second time, then send it to my engineer Ed, then listen once more when it comes back from Ed. It is usually done when Ed sends it back. Occasionally there are one or two small changes, usually because I made some editing error. This regimen lets me FINISH things which is so very very satisfying.